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Oklahoma State Election Board prepares for voter purge

Posted at 9:10 PM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-01 23:30:55-04

TULSA -- Voters in 75 out of 77 counties in Oklahoma head to the polls on Tuesday. Meanwhile the State Election Board is working to clear inactive voters from registration lists.

In the Spring of every odd-numbered year, Oklahoma state law requires a voter purge.

"Every couple of years we have to do this and yeah it’s a massive effort," said Gwen Freeman, Secretary of the Tulsa County Election Board.

There are several steps before a voter is removed from the registry. The State Election Board sends out address confirmation mail.

"Are you still there? Are you still in Tulsa county?" said Freeman.

If the mail bounces back, or they don't receive a response, the voter is considered inactive.

"We’re expecting somewhere between 20 and 30,000 names on that list this year," said Freeman.

An inactive voter is still a registered voter. If they decide to vote in any election or update their registration, it'll automatically return to active.

"It’s so easy to forget, if you’ve moved and you’ve got all the things associated with the move it’s very, very, down on the bottom of the list its to contact your election board and let us know where you are," said Freeman.

But if an inactive voter has no active activity for two consecutive General Election cycles, which spans eight years, state law requires that voter to be removed.

"We divvy it out to the folks who are responsible of keeping track of the voter registrations and one by one they go down the line," said Freeman.

In Tulsa county, it takes registration clerks about three months to update their system after they get the purge lists from state officials.

Officials say you can save them time and effort by calling your local election board if you move or change addresses.

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